Chapter 205 The back garden in the middle of the night
Suhe city, Gu residence.
Gu Xun’s residence could naturally not be compared to the Gu residence at Jingtian city, but there was also a small and exquisite garden, decorated with pavilions and kiosks and a small bridge with flowing water. It gave another graceful and subtle charm.
Due to the disaster at Jingtian City, Gu Da’s business was in a mess. So, old madam ended temporarily to be taken care off by Gu Xun. Gu Xun had always respected this legitimate mother (father’s first wife), so he didn’t push it off. Two days ago, he took off with some people to work. Hence, only his wife Chen shi and an unmarried daughter were left at the residence.
- Shi: clan
Under this circumstance, Chen shi naturally strived to be cautious. She patrolled the garden every night with some servants, locking all the doors leading to the outside.
It was the same this night. After she had patrolled the garden, she went to old madam to pay her respect and then went back to her room. Then Lin shi came to visit her, so both sisters-in-law sat down under the candlelight and talked until the middle of the night. Afterwards, Lin shi‘s maid Shuishe brought some midnight snacks. Chen shi originally didn’t eat these midnight snacks but today she was resting late so she felt a little hungry. She picked up a piece of plum blossom cake and also accompanied Lin shi to eat a small portion of white fungus sweet soup.
After eating midnight snacks, it wasn’t good to go to bed immediately. But Chen shi was a bit tired after sitting and her face showed tiredness.
Lin shi smiled and said, “No one else will come over so late on this night. The two of us don’t need to be so restrained. Loosen the outer garment a bit and call someone to bring water to wash the hands and face. After digesting the food a bit, I will also be on my way.”
Chen shi wanted to reject but Shuishe was so diligent. She (S) already came forward to help her (C) loosen her clothes, so she (C) just said “Excuse me” and let the maid loosen her clothes and remove the bracelets. And finally she washed her hands and face. Afterwards, she really felt that her body had become much lighter and her mind became more refreshing.
While the sisters-in-laws continued the chat, Shuishe cleared away the leftovers of the midnight snacks and then went out. She (S) walked for a while and then arrived at the southwest corner gate. After checking that there was no one around, she left the plate on a rock at the side of the road. She took out a bunch of keys from her sleeves and tried one by one to unlock that side door.
After she had fumbled with the lock for quite a while, she heard a ‘ka’ sound and the lock handle was opened.
Shuishe took a deep breath, looked up at the moon, and estimated that it was almost time. As she was just feeling anxious, she saw one after another figure in the distance coming this way.
She was afraid that it wasn’t the people she was waiting for and thus she hid behind the mountain of rocks and looked around quietly. After seeing that it was Gu Xiren and Gu Xuan who walked elegantly under the moonlight, she came out of her hiding place and called softly, “Here.”
Gu Xiren heard the movement and led Gu Xuan over without saying a word.
Shuishe saw that the two truly came emptyhanded, she couldn’t help but sigh in her heart. Behind a flower bush near the side door, she took out a small cloth bag that had long been prepared, handed them it and said, “This is what madam has prepared for you. There are two sets of clothes in there, twenty broken pieces of silver liang and some pastries. There are also a few pieces of jewelries worth hundred of liang, all of which are from madam’s private savings. Third young master, please guard it well and pay attention on the way. Don’t let thieves notice you.”
Gu Xiren nodded, took over the bag and said, “Thank madam for me.”
Gu Xuan watched them at the side and frowned slightly, but although the wound on her neck was getting better, the knot in her heart couldn’t be untied. She became like when she was a child again. She couldn’t speak, so she could only tug at Gu Xiren’s sleeve and question him with her eyes.
“Don’t be afraid.” Gu Xiren caressed her hair very gently. “I’ll take you out of here. Let’s ignore these people and matters in the family, and stay away from them.”
It was night when he secretly went to Gu Xuan’s room to wake her up. It didn’t alarm those who were guarding Gu Xuan. The maids and old maids were already asleep. He only said that he was secretly taking her to the garden for a walk to divert her from melancholy. Therefore, Gu Xuan was very astounded at this moment. She opened her mouth but couldn’t speak, so her eyebrows frowned more.
Shuishe was anxious and afraid that someone would come and see them. She was also afraid that Lin shi wouldn’t be able to hold on at the other side, so she hurriedly said, “Third young master, third young miss, it isn’t convenient now. If you have anything to discuss about, do it when you get out. Just hurriedly leave now.”
“Alright,” As Gu Xiren nodded, he pulled tightly on Gu Xuan’s hand and went to push the door.
Gu Xuan’s heart tightened and took a step back instead.
Actually, she really didn’t want to go out!
For so many years, she had lived in pain, planning revenge all the time in her heart. It was all from a firm belief that her mother was innocent and that Gu Da and Gu Xitian had caused her death!
But what was the truth? The truth came too late. Just after she had done something irrevocable, telling her that it wasn’t like this. That her mother was the one at fault and that she was wrong too. So, the persistent belief had collapsed after the great joy of getting her revenge.when she felt the great pain of learning the truth. Suddenly she couldn’t find a goal to continue to live on. She just wanted to die, die through Fang shi’s hand….
However, she hadn’t died but her heart was like the earth after the winter snow; boundless, empty, cold, and every hope turns to dust, with no desire. She didn’t care about Gu household or the others. She also didn’t feel anything when someone treated her good or bad. Life had become rather simpler due to that. Every day she could wake up naturally, eat, study and do needlework. When she was bored, she could look at the flowers and plants, look at the sun and rain, look at the never changing sky. She just felt that her heart had never been so peaceful.
- Every hope turns to dust: completely disheartened; all hopes are dashed to pieces.
Under these circumstances, Gu Xiren wanted to leave but she was unwilling. What if they get out? She was just escaping from a smaller cage to a larger one.
Gu Xiren sensed her resistance and became anxious. “Leave with me. If you stay here, there’s no good outcome here. Old madam will casually pick someone to marry you, or even in order to get a benefit, she will let you marry as a second wife or concubine!”
Gu Xuan looked at him calmly. Her eyes were saying, so what?
“Let’s go! We can have a better life together. I’ll take you to wherever you want to go!” Gu Xiren urged bitterly. “Think about it, we can find a place with great scenery to live and build two cottages. In the early morning, you can see a whole flower field, you can walk through the city, climb mountains and waddles rivers. No one can control you anymore. You can laugh as much as you like, you can cry as much as you want. You don’t have to hide all your thoughts at the bottom of your heart anymore. Isn’t all this what you’ve always wanted?”
Gu Xuan was unmoved and still persistently and slowly pulled her hand back.
She couldn’t return to the past! She couldn’t return to the past anymore! She didn’t even have the desire to cry or laugh at the moment. What about that she had a better life? Wasn’t it still the same eating and sleeping; like a walking corpse, she was numb! What’s more, she only discovered now that her brother who was regarded by her as her pillar since childhood, the brother who she relied so much and respected upon, was in fact much more ignorant than she was!
Who said that if you left Gu household, you would be able to live the life you dreamed of? The outside world was bigger, the people were more ill-intentioned. The surroundings would only be more complex and dangerous than Gu household! How could they who had never learned survival skills and who had also lost the family protection now, be able to survive?
She took another step back and shook her head.
No, she didn’t want to go out!
If it was in the past, when she still had fantasies and hopes for a better life, she would’ve taken this gamble and follow Gu Xiren in leaving Gu household without looking back. She would go outside in search of the life she wanted, even if the process was unsatisfactory. It wouldn’t matter if there were many setbacks. She would be able to withstand them but now…
She didn’t want to anymore. She was really, really tired!